Fort Worth, TX (WiredPRNews.com)—In an example of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s strong commitment to financial savings, John McCain’s running mate wrote that hospitals need less bureaucracy and more accountability to the communities that they serve.
In a February 25, 2008 op-ed written by Palin in the Anchorage Daily News.com, the presumed GOP vice-presidential nominee explained how repealing the current Certificate of Need program would improve health care.
“Certificate of Need programs were required in all states in the mid-1970s by federal mandate. The goal was to make sure that health care facilities matched community need and provided access and quality care, which in turn would help reduce health-care costs. The federal mandate was repealed in 1987 — 20 years ago! — along with its federal funding,” Palin wrote in the op-ed.
She explained in the editorial that the program “…is being used by lobbyists and health-care organizations to limit competition — through appeal of other’s certificate awards or by filing suit against the state for those awards. As one member of a citizen committee studying CON in 2007 put it: ‘the only voices heard (testifying for continuing CON even more stringently) were from the financially vested physicians and hospitals.’ Currently, there are seven active Certificate of Need lawsuits involving the state and private sector health-care providers.”
According to a Wall Street Journal.com article, Palin’s bill to repeal the Certificate of Need (CON) program has yet to pass the Alaska legislature. The repeal of the CON system would lower costs and improve the quality of health care, Palin wrote in the Anchorage Daily News.com piece.
“As I said recently in my State of the State Address to the Legislature, ‘Under our present Certificate of Need process, costs and needs don’t drive health-care choices — bureaucracy does. Our system is broken and expensive.’ Eliminating the CON program, with certain exceptions, will allow free-market competition and reduce onerous government regulation.”